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“CRM Analytics For Sales Benchmarking”  | Published on Industrial Distribution by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor

Using this solution as a framework can helps industrial distributors better target and control sales opportunities.

Maximizing the effectiveness of the salesforce is a critical goal for industrial distributors of all types and sizes. In order to provide their sales representatives with the necessary information to sell effectively in an incredibly competitive marketplace, some industrial distributors have turned to customer relationship management software (CRM).

But it simply isn’t enough to invest in just any software offering. Every distributor is a unique outfit, and each faces unique challenges and opportunities. Those that choose to invest in CRM solutions must tailor them to meet the needs and goals of their respective companies, and they must also try to maximize the return on investment. This is no easy task.
“Distributors deal with lots of different vendors, lots of different product groups, and the knowledge and intelligence is golden,” says Matt Hartman, President and CEO of Tour De Force Solutions. “Everything a customer is buying from you is an indicator to identify what they are not buying and you should be selling.”

Building Relationships That Last

According to Robert Sinfield, Product Marketing Manager, Senior, at Epicor, a CRM solution offers many key benefits to a distribution operation. First and foremost, it allows salespeople to effectively control interactions with their customers…   Continue Article… 

Published on Industrial Distribution by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor

By: Ashley Parinello

Industrial Supply Magazine

Cover Story by Johnston Supply Industrial





Johnston Industrial Supply makes wise technology investments to boost profitability!

Very few companies want to be on the “bleeding edge” when it comes to trying new technologies. Adopting a technology before it has been thoroughly tested – or before customers or employees are ready to use it – can be a costly mistake.

But smart business owners understand that applying the right technology can make a major impact on bottom-line profitability. Johnston Industrial Supply has discovered that wise investments in technology make good business sense.

“Technology touches every department in our company. We’ve been able to utilize it and reduce our workforce, yet continue to grow sales,” says company president Susie Johnston. “It has enabled us to be flexible enough to serve our customers and still give
them personalized service.”

Continue Reading…

via Industrial Supply Magazine by Rich Vurva

This article originally appeared in the Mar./Apr. 2012 issue of Industrial Supply magazine. Copyright 2012, Direct Business Media.

By: Ashley Parinello

With so many CRM and Sales Force Automation (SFA) software packages available today, it can be a daunting task to figure out which one is right for your distribution business.

Whether you and your company are brand new to CRM or you’re an experienced user who is unsatisfied with your current product, this guide will help you during your selection and review process. It will cover six important areas to consider when looking at CRM providers and supplies questions to ask when interviewing or reviewing different CRM offerings, in order to ensure that you select the right CRM for distributors and the distribution industry.

Today we will review the 4th area to consider when selecting a CRM solution.

Area 4: Gap Analysis

What’s the importance of Gap Analysis, and how can I determine that the CRM system can provide it effectively?

The distribution business is all about maximizing penetration at existing and new accounts. You may have some of the business but what about the business you are not currently enjoying? How do you put together sales plans for addressing that missing business? How do you develop marketing campaigns to gain additional market share faster?

Gap Analysis is the process of being able to look at customer purchase history and determine what they should be purchasing based on what is currently being purchased. A CRM with Gap Analysis should allow for easy lookup of sales by type & quantity of specific product purchased. For example, the customer has purchased products A and B, but not product C. Your knowledge shows that these customers are great targets for product C.

With Gap Analysis in your CRM you should be able to quickly run a report to “Show me all customers in X territory that have purchased product A & B but not product C in the last 18 months”. With this data you should be able to overlay other criteria for specific marketing campaigns such as “Select all contacts with engineer in their title”. Now you can launch an email campaign from your CRM system targeting all customers that have purchased product A & B but not product C in the last 18 months and send it to all contacts in the database (or territory, or zip code, etc.) with engineer in their title. This is the kind of targeted sales and marketing that a CRM with Gap Analysis will allow you to do.

CRM Interview – Ask these questions to determine if the CRM system provides effective Gap Analysis:

  • Can you show me specific examples of your Gap Analysis tools and how they can segment by specific types of products that have been purchased?
  • Can you show me how your system can sort all customers who have purchased, for example, products X & Y but not product Z – over some defined period of time?
  • Can I directly create an email or direct mail campaign to the specific contacts within these accounts (that meet the product X, Y & Z above) that have a specific job title such Purchasing, Engineer, Manager, or any other job title that we’d like to specify?
  • Can you show me how I could run a Gap Analysis for the following scenario?
    • I have a specific family of products that are being obsoleted for more current products. How you would sort for all of item codes in that product family and the associated sales history over the last 24 months, so that we could send an e-mail marketing campaign introducing the replacement products with associated information and links to our website to anyone who had purchased from that product family in the last 24 months?


Download the full Guide to Selecting a CRM for your Distribution Business.

By: Ashley Parinello

At Tour de Force CRM, we have spent the last 10 years building and expanding our feature set based upon the input of hundreds of distributors and manufacturers. Today, Tour de Force CRM offers the most extensive feature set available to the Distribution & Manufacturing industries.

A few of the key features offered through our extensive integration with your ERP system are:

  • Gap Analysis – Allows you to review your customers purchase history, and easily identify where there are gaps or opportunities for additional sales.Quickly and easily run reports such as “all customers who have purchased product A & B but not product C in the last 18 months” or “customers in territory X who have spent $10,000 on product A in last 2 years, but $0 on product A in last 6 months”.
  • Tour de Force Mobile CRM – Provides your users with anytime, anywhere access to key CRM data as well as customer sales history and sales data directly from your ERP system.
  • Advanced Reporting & Filtering Capabilities – Quickly and easily generate sales reports by sales person, branch, territory, region, or for the entire company, with the ability to filter on any field found in Tour de Force.Save frequently used filtering or reporting criteria with the option to provide convenient access to all Tour de Force users.

If you’ve already invested in a solution that is simply not delivering the value you expected, or you’ve just started to evaluate the CRM options available that will seamlessly integrate with your ERP software, we’d like to provide you with a brief introduction to the Tour de Force CRM solution. Find out today why Tour de Force has become the CRM solution of choice in the Distribution & Manufacturing industries.

“Tour de Force provides our company with an easily and highly customizable package with the added benefit of tying specifically with our Eclipse ERP system, allowing us to track what we deem important. The support team is top notch and provides a level of professionalism rarely seen in the software industry.”

Chris Bohn
Director of Information Technology

By: Ashley Parinello

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